April 24, 2018

Ria Newhouse & April Spisak | Movers & Shakers 2004

Front Desk

Ria Newhouse Teen Services Librarian, Hancock County PL, Greenfield, IN; April Spisak , Youth Services Librarian, Clark County PL, Springfield, OH

Ria Newhouse, 26, and April Spisak, 27, both love reality TV.

“I like to watch people do things for money,” Newhouse joked with LJ, “maybe because I don’t have much of it.” The reality for them and their peers, as they revealed at the 2004 Public Library Association conference, is that new librarians struggle to meet high student loans with low pay, get locked out of decisions, and watch their ideas dissipate in bureaucracy. This plays out painfully every day, turning off the talent the profession needs. (Look for more in a forthcoming issue of LJ.) But, like their peers, Spisak and Newhouse, who bonded in library school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, want to solve problems. “I don’t see us ten years down the line saying we struggled through,” said Spisak, who, like her friend, was drawn to librarianship by the activism at its core: “We will be saying, ‘Here’s a discounted membership for five years because it’s hard to be a new librarian; here’s a round table that welcomes you specifically; and here are scholarships to attend national conferences because public libraries can’t (or won’t) send you.'” Now, that would be a better reality.

Stat Watch

Number of libraian blogs (collaborative, organizational, and personal) listed in the open directoy’s LIS web logs category:
2002 80
2003 350
May 11, 2004 471

Q&A: Joyce Still Top Choice?

Nola Tully’s yes I said yes I will Yes: A Celebration of James Joyce, Ulysses, and 100 Years of Bloomsday (see review, p.135) quotes author accolades from Joyce’s contemporaries. But has Ulysses remained influential? LJ asked current literati whether the big U still cuts it.

William Kennedy: “I was just out of the army and too sick to go to work, so I read Joyce’s vaunted Ulysses in three days. It made me doubt my intelligence and think that English was not my native tongue. I read on for decades, baffled, thrilled. In the early years of reading I valued it most for its improbable ambition, later for the divine secularity of its language, its manifestation of specificity as the fabric of the soul, and then for its insistence on the primacy of place in the writer’s hierarchy. I traveled Joyce’s city and arrived, grateful, at my home town.”

Ray Bradbury: “Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to slug my way through! Sadly, all I’ve ever read of James Joyce is Dubliners.”

Kurt Vonnegut: “Reading Ulysses was one of several major events in my life. To award or deny a novel a championship would be ridiculous.”